"......This old West Marche Clan, one of the eight great riding families of the Scottish Border since the early 1100s, were retainers of the Great House of Douglas and also allied with the best border families through blood and friendship. Their land holdings were extensive, and to survive, they engaged in the "rieving" of the period and participated in many battles against the English. Declared "unruly" by the Scottish Parliament, many of the Clan emigrated to the Ulster Plantation after 1610. After William Bell, called Redcloak and Chief of the Clan died in 1628, the chiefship became dormant, and without leadership, the Bells ceased to exist as a viable clan.
In 1990, the process of having a petition written for Douglas Bell, C.B.E., was undertaken. Regretfully, Douglas died in 1993 and his son Benjamin became the Chief Apparent of the Clan. Benjamin's petition, for reasons unknown to Clan Bell International (CBI), has not been completed and submitted to the Lord Lyon's office. Meanwhile, CBI in the United States continues to represent the Clan world-wide with a coordinated network of 20 International Representatives, each representing the Clan in their own country. Clan Bell International is a charitable nonprofit organization of Scottish descendants and friends of Family/Clan Bell dedicated to the study of Bell genealogy and Scottish history and the perpetuation of family tradition.
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